Brainstorming Session Ideas: A tech-free brainstorming session One way to create innovation
Leading firm Prophet Consulting took its entire team of 250 to Iceland for a unique innovation experience.
The rule for the brainstorming model was that technology was banned. No computers, no mobile phones, no Facebook!
It was described as part Innovation Jam, part employee crowdsourcing, part business retreat and part Project Runway.
Iceland’s landscapes provided endless inspiration, as did the country still reeling from the impacts of the global recession.
Promote Iceland partnered with the group. Six areas were identified as areas for potential growth.
The teams, drawn from all areas of Prophet, began to workshop two dozen ideas. Four judges from Promote Iceland gave their feedback for the concepts.
Three ideas were given the green light and one is already underway: to reposition Iceland as the ‘Silicon Valley of Sustainable Energy’.
Ensuring an effective workshop requires the following:
Facilitate the experience. Appoint a moderator who defines discussion topics, asks the right questions and keeps the dialogue on track.
Include all levels of the business. This will break the ice between different employees and departments. Some of Unplugged’s best ideas came from less seasoned employees.
Provide real-time feedback. Promote Iceland’s judging panel provided an immediacy to Prophet’s efforts.
Incentives are great, but recognition is better. The winning teams are still enjoying the residual effects of the brainstorming session and everyone considered the chance to take part the greatest reward of all.
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Managing Director, The Strategy Group
Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.